The expectation was that ratings for Monday Night Raw would rise this week because fans would tune in to see if CM Punk would make his return or not. However, the opposite took place. WWE saw a 12 percent drop in viewership, which has to be a bit alarming since it is the time period between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania 30.
When Batista made his return on Monday Night Raw, WWE officials were said to be rather upset with the lackluster reaction from the audience. However, management then saw the television ratings for the segment and placed the blame on the Dayton crowd instead.
"It's ridiculous. I hate to sound like I'm attacking the WWE or (I) devalue what they did because Vince McMahon, say whatever you want -- and he's always smashing us and talking s—t about us, but I will tell you this, I was watching WWE I was a little kid and Vince was the commentator in WWE -- this guy has been kicking ass, breaking rules and doing things that people said he couldn't do over and over and over again. Now I'm older I don't get the whole thing, it doesn't work for me, but what he's able to do, the ratings he's able to pull and the things he's done ... And when I look at his model and he's basically taking everything in and devalued it. Saying everything we do is worth $10. That doesn't make sense to me," White said during a media luncheon on Monday. If he pulls in 2 million subscribers, he's crushing it. So it's a risky move, it's a crazy move, but Vince has been doing risky, crazy s—t since the beginning of time. If anybody can do it, maybe Vince can do it."
- UFC president Dana White on Vince McMahon and WWE Network
Impact Wrestling drew in one of the highest ratings that the show has seen in a couple of years this week. The belief is that WWE fans tuned in this week to see what would happen during the match between Sting and Brutus Magnus, as many are hoping that the legendary performer will end up at Wrestlemania 30 this year.
AJ Styles might have a little more leverage in his ongoing negotiations with TNA, as Impact Wrestling managed to score a dramatic increase this week. Approximately 25% more people tuned into the episode, which featured Styles's final match, than they did the previous week.
There will be a Lethal Lockdown match at TNA Lockdown 2014 this year. Team Dixie will consists of Ethan Carter, Bobby Roode, James Storm and Rockstar Spud. They will face Team MVP, which will include MVP, Gunner, Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards.
"It's tough, even Hulk Hogan was a tough loss to accept. Sting has been the cornerstone of the company, Jarrett founded the company and I think he might be the best heel in the business, and AJ Styles is just the best athlete I've ever been in the ring with. From three different perspectives it is a tough pill to swallow because they are three of the best. When you don't have them in the company you hope to god that the young talent steps up, guys like Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, and James Storm seem to be stepping up. Will they replace Sting? You can't replace Sting, will they replace AJ? Probably not, AJ is irreplaceable, but will they become their own characters and do really well, yes they will do phenomenally well and it's not about replacing anymore, it's about making new stars."
- Kurt Angle on TNA losing stars recently
Impact Wrestling is being taped in Dublin this week, and James Storm has already landed in Ireland. The longtime TNA star has a heavy schedule of promotional events and media appearances ahead of him. Storm will more than likely be handling the marketing duties in England and Scotland as well.
Some details have emerged about the reality television show that James Storm has been pitching to various Hollywood executives. The show would follow the TNA star as he attempts to open up a brand new bar. Word has it that there are a few studios receptive to the idea.
Another person that TNA wants to push to the main event scene soon is Gunner. Many backstage feel that he can be elevated enough to be viewed as a worthy challenger for Brutus Magnus and the world title. The success of his story line with James Storm should help dictate that.
Since TNA wants Brutus Magnus to have a solid run as the heavyweight champion, the creative department will be lining up some challengers, so he can work memorable feuds. Aside from Samoa Joe, another candidate being discussed is James Storm, who has routinely gotten the best reactions from the live audiences.
James Storm recently revealed in an interview that plans are still in place for him to have his own reality television show. The former TNA World Heavyweight Champion has some more meetings set up in Hollywood later this month to discuss those plans.
"I don't know the situation with the contracts and all that stuff, but you know for me to see a guy that I've been here since day one with is a dark day for TNA because he did help build TNA. Anytime somebody says TNA they automatically think of AJ Styles and the incredible matches he's had while he's been here. Hopefully him and TNA can come to an agreement and he can come back pretty soon."